Philippines requests Iran for release of 18 crew members

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippines requests Iran for release of 18 crew members
Stock image of an oil tanker
Pixabay / BioSteak

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines reiterated its request to Iran to release the 18 Filipino crew members of an oil tanker seized by Iran’s navy in the Gulf of Oman.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo raised the Philippine government’s request with Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber during a meeting on the sidelines of the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kampala, Uganda.

“I asked for the release of the Filipino seafarers aboard the detained St. Nikolas. I requested Iran to continue to grant consular access to our embassy in Tehran and allow regular contact between the seafarers and their families back home,” Manalo posted on X.

Manalo and Mokhber also discussed trade relations between Iran and the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Iran has assured the Philippines that the 18 seafarers are in “full health.”

Iranian state media reported that Iran seized the oil tanker bound for Turkey on Jan. 11 in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its oil by the United States.

The vessel previously went by the name Suez Rajan and had been seized by the US for transporting sanctioned Iran oil.

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